Venable partner Len Gordon was quoted in a January 15, 2016 American Banker article on the overlapping mission and jurisdiction of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Some areas of shared oversight include debt collection, payday lending and auto financing.
"In the current environment where there are pressures to be very pro-consumer, both internally and externally at these agencies, the goal is to not be perceived as the less aggressive agency," said Gordon. "There's always rivalry between government agencies that have shared missions and both are trying to do their best to be the toughest cop on beat."
According to Gordon, regulatory competition alone is not causing the two agencies to come down harder on firms they oversee. "The regulators are paying more attention to what is required to substantiate a debt. The FTC started that and the CFPB has built on it" and "the bar seems to get higher with each case as cases bounce back and forth between the two agencies," he said. "The agencies are getting more aggressive in terms of applying the laws, such as what they deem as abusive or deceptive acts or practices, and also in terms of seeking settlements involving higher penalties and monetary relief."